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6 Signs That Sex Is More Than Just...Sex.

Ever wonder how you can know if it's more than just a physical thang?

Sex

Whenever I'm talking to single women and the topic of sex comes up, if there's a common question that I get, pretty often, it's "How do I know that it isn't just sex when it comes to him?" Listen, not to sound like y'all's grandma or anything yet I certainly get why a lot of the elders are like, "That's why you might wanna wait until there's a solid commitment in place."

Because, although I'm going to touch on a few points that can definitely give you more peace of mind, there is something to be said for waiting for a long-term commitment or—gasp—even marriage because those kinds of relationships tend to come with intentional promises and/or vows. Y'all, some things may seem traditional or antiquated. Still, that doesn't mean they're all bad. Real talk.


Now that I've made grandmas, aunties and church mothers proud with that lil' PSA, let's get into how you can avoid being able to relate to articles on this site like, "Don't Mistake A Great Sex Partner For A Great Life Partner". If you're seeing a guy and either you're already having sex or you're considering doing so, here are six ways to know if there's more there than just the physical.

1. There’s a Solid Connection Outside of the Bedroom

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There are people who've gotten together off of a one-night stand. There are people who've divorced, even though they were virgins on their wedding night. So, I'm not gonna sit here and say that everyone who has sex quickly is headed for disaster and everyone who waits will experience marital bliss for the rest of their lives. What I will say is the more open you are to taking your time, the more you can establish a real connection with another individual.

And just what does a true connection look like? You've had some serious conversations. A level of mutual trust has been established. You care about each other on a mental and emotional level. You've had a few disagreements or areas of conflict and have been able to resolve them. You make time for one another besides just when you want to have sex.

I'll be the first one to admit that lust can be one hell of a drug. It can cause you to become a little delusional, if you let it, because when you're really into someone physically and/or the sex is off the charts, it can cause you to think that something more is there when that actually might not be the case. Making the time to establish a connection that has nothing to do with copulation can help you to feel like "he" is spending time with you, not just because he wants to get the goods. Time can make you feel more confident that he actually values you and enjoys you as a human being. That you're not just some glorified sex doll.

2. It’s Not the Only Thing the Two of You Have in Common

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Something that I find really sexy in a man is wit. To me, it's the perfect blend of intellect, humor and great timing. So, if you're already attractive in my eyes and you're witty, I'm already super intrigued. Anyway, when I think back on all of my sex partners (check out "14 Lessons I've Learned From 14 Sex Partners"), something that most of them had in common is they were super witty. They found me to be that way too, so the back-and-forth light sparring was basically a form of verbal foreplay. Oh, but when you peeled that back and took the sex away, when it comes to a handful of those men, we really didn't have that much in common. Matter of fact, when it came to a couple of guys, we actually got on each other's nerves.

Wanna know why some people get married and then basically end up hating each other's guts? A part of the reason is because, while there may have been really strong sexual chemistry—so strong that they thought there was more to their relationship than there actually was—they didn't have much in common past that. Ask any married person and they will probably tell you that great sex with your partner is amazingly indescribable; still, if you don't have some other things that you both enjoy, that you both are interested in, that you both value, you still could be headed for relational disaster. So, what things do you and he share a common ground on? The answer to that question can reveal…A LOT.

3. Sex Is the “Icing”. Not the “Cake”.

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I know some dating couples who, whenever they have a disagreement, they "fix things" by having sex. Although I get it—and back in the day, oftentimes even did it—that isn't a smart move. For one thing, running to sex all of the time is usually a sign of fear. You don't really know how to effectively communicate or connect any other way, so that becomes your go-to. Because that is the case, sex is no longer simply a pleasurable act; it's a crutch. Another challenge that comes from taking this approach is it can have you out here thinking that you're in something healthy and beneficial when all you're really doing is having great sex with someone. And real talk, y'all—you can do that with hundreds, if not thousands of people on this planet. Yeah, never EVER assume that mind-blowing sex means you're in a great relationship. Some folks can experience passion with someone they don't even like or respect very much. I can speak from personal experience on this.

That's why it's so important to look at sex as the icing in a relationship, not the cake. Icing makes cake sweeter. Icing makes cake more fun. Icing can be an unexpected surprise or welcome addition. At the same time, if there was no icing, the cake should still be bomb. When it comes to your relationship, can you honestly say all of this about the current state of your dynamic?

4. You’re Both Careful with Each Other’s Feelings

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Something that I like about the R&B artist Joe is he writes songs in such a way that certain lyrics can really hit home. Take his throwback jam "If I Was Your Man", for example. One of my favorite lines in it is when he sang, "Got rid of everything that I knew was hurting you". Come on, Joe. Preach it. When two people are in something that is merely sexual, they don't really care all that much about anything other than what happens in between the foreplay and the climax. However, when two individuals are engaged in something that is more than just sex, they definitely care about not hurting each other's feelings and doing what they can to make the relationship better.

That said, I'm not saying that if a man cares then he will comply with all of your expectations or that he will want the same kind of relationship that you do (one day, we'll have to talk about the problem with sexual manipulation; even if it's self-sexual manipulation). What I am saying is your feelings, your concerns and even your needs will not be something that he shies away from. He will see value in you beyond sex. His words and actions will prove it.

5. You Feel Like Your Partner Is Having Sex WITH Rather than AT You

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It was close to this time last year when I wrote the article, "Question: Is The Man In Your Life Good 'TO' You? Good 'FOR' You? Or...Both?". The gist of it is when someone is good for you, they are going to benefit you in a holistic way. Well, along these same lines, when a man is having sex with you, by the definition of the word "with", he is not only interacting; he is making a true connection. On the other hand, when a guy is having sex at you? Hmm. I think I've shared before that there's one past sex partner I had who liked to have sex in front of mirrors. Mind you, it wasn't so that he could watch both of us in the act, he liked to look at himself. Like sometimes I would catch him posing. WTF and LOL all at the same time. What he taught me was that some people can be good in bed and it still has absolutely nothing to do with their partner. Their performance is an ego boost for them, more than anything else.

So yeah, another way to know if sex is more than just sex is if your partner is fully present with you. You don't feel like it's "performance sex". Instead, it feels like he relishes being in your presence and sex is just a part of the reason why. Between the two of you, there's intimacy. You feel comfortable. You feel seen. You feel safe.

6. Things Can End Well

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You know what they say—all good things must come to an end. And while this isn't automatically or necessarily a guarantee when it comes to you and your current sex partner, what I will say is that if there's a mutual respect for one another, should you both decide that it's time to transition out, hopefully neither of you will feel used, slighted, embarrassed, neglected or even hurt. You might miss each other (or the sex); still, there won't be battle wounds from the situation because even though sex was a big part of the dynamic, it was never just about that. Shoot, you might even be able to remain friends—or at least cool—after it's all said and done.

And even, for whatever the reason, that ends up not being the case, at least you won't have to look back and feel totally mortified because you shared something so private, so real, so special with a person who didn't embrace the experience with the dignity that you deserved. You can see things for what they were—a season of sex that, on some level you enjoyed and quite possibly learned and grew from. No regrets. Because the sex…wasn't just…sex.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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